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Mergers and Acquisitions For Dummies Paperback – April 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Navigate the entire M&A process
  • Identify and value targets
  • Negotiate effectively

The easy way to make smart business transactions

Are you looking for a plain-English guide about mergers and acquisitions and how they can impact your company? Look no further. This hands-on, friendly roadmap explains the world of M&A — from basic terminology to the step-by-step process of how to find, negotiate, finance, and close deals.

  • Speak and act like a player — get familiar with the building blocks of M&A: words, phrases, and decorum
  • Uncover the rationale for doing deals — discover the different reasons for buying or selling a company
  • Take one step at a time — learn the generally accepted process of buying or selling companies
  • Get your motor running — find out how to kick-start the process, from writing or assessing the offering document to expressing interest in doing a deal
  • Check everything — learn how to successfully navigate the due diligence process
  • It ain't over 'til it's over! — discover insider tips about negotiating and what really works (and what doesn't work) when trying to close a deal
  • Sign on the dotted line — fully understand that all-important day: closing day
  • Manage the transition of the newly merged company — smoothly integrate employees, policies, and procedures

Open the book and find:

  • How to prepare to make a solid deal
  • Common reasons to buy or sell a company
  • Strategies for approaching Buyer and Seller
  • Advice on how to finance a deal
  • Tips on reviewing a Seller's offer
  • How a Buyer can get a good deal
  • Ways to determine a company's worth
  • What to expect on closing day
  • Steps for making post-closing adjustments

About the Author

Bill Snow is a noted authority on mergers and acquisitions who has successfully bought and sold companies as an investment banker. He also has held leadership positions in rapidly growing public companies, venture-backed dotcoms, and angel funded start-ups. His perspective on all stages of corporate development gives him unique insight to the needs of business owners and executives seeking to create value by selling or acquiring companies. He regularly writes and speaks on the subject.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley Publishing, Inc.; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470385561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470385562
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bob Dog VINE VOICE on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have worked in the Finance and Accounting field for almost twenty five years. Some of the most excitement I've had over that time involved participation in buying and selling companies.

When this book became available to me, I was immediately interested, because I wanted to see if any of the issues I had faced over the years were mentioned in the text. "Merger & Acquisitions for Dummies" was three for three:

1. Buying Assets vs. Buying Stock. In a very brief and easy to read several paragraphs, Mr. Snow discusses the benefits of buying assets, in particular, minimizing liability, and the benefits of buying stock, in particular, minimizing taxes. I was surprised to see such a complicated subject being discussed so quickly, but this is a necessity in this kind of "user friendly" treatment.

2. Accounting for subsequent changes in, or actual misrepresentations in working capital. This always happens in a deal, and again, the discussion was good, if brief.

3. Earn outs to keep existing management motivated. Nicely done, and a variety of approaches were discussed.

Basically, if you are undertaking a merger or acquisition of any size, everyone is going to hire professionals to help them through it. But this relatively friendly approach to the subject would be a handy quick reference for the executive on either end of the deal, to take back to his office in order to plan for the sequence and importance of events, and as the process gets underway, to figure out what just happened in that meeting.

To the extent of my limited experience with deals, I believe Mr. Snow has done a nice job of capturing the relevant points and organizing them in a way that allows the reader to find what they want, quickly.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a fantastic introductory text on M&A perfect for four groups of people:

1) Business owners or executives interested in selling their business,

2) Businessmen interested in acquiring other companies,

3) Wall Street professionals looking to learn about M&A, and

4) Anyone interested in learning a lot about a fascinating and important aspect of business and the modern economy. If you fit into any one of these categories, reading Bill Snow's book is a wise investment.

Snow organizes his book in a way that most benefits novices in the area of M&A. The book is broken down into six parts:

Part I: Mergers and Acquisitions 101

Part II: Taking the First Steps to Buy or Sell a Company

Part III: Starting the Deal on the Right Foot

Part IV: Firming up the Deal

Part V: Closing the Deal...and Beyond!

Part VI: The Part of Tens

In Part I, Snow begins by giving a lay of the land for the rest of the book. He starts by defining what exactly M&A is and explains the myriad reasons someone would buy or sell a business. He talks about the nuts and bolts of selling a business, who is involved with this complex process, and how this process usually unfolds. By the end of Part I, the reader is left with the solid framework of M&A. Each successive part of the book gets deeper into the aspects of M&A discussed briefly in Part I. For frequent readers of the Wall Street Journal who are reading the book merely for interest, Part I may be sufficient. Professionals need to know the details and nuances presented throughout the rest of the book.

Part II delves into the first steps of the process.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Mergers & Acquisitions For Dummies" is a tremendously well-written book that both M&A rookies and seasoned dealmakers would find useful. It covers the very basics, such as the difference between a merger and an acquisition, as well as the nuanced details of a transaction, including the LOI and purchase agreement. The author's deep expertise comes through at various times in the book, as he sprinkles in hints and tips based on his own experience to go along with the basic factual information. You feel like the author is pulling you aside at the negotiation table and whispering in your ear. For example, in Chapter 12, he discusses valuation ranges, expressing that while you can do a lot of work trying to value a company, most sell for 4x-6x EBITDA, and that while it is possible for a business to sell outside of that range, it is not customary, at least not for a middle market transaction. He also offers some helpful commentary on digging around for potential sellers (including some scripts that he has found to be useful in cold calling), and his thoughts on wealth advisors (the dirty secret is that most of the work at the larger firms is done by junior people with little to no experience). While the book is intended to be used as a reference book, where the reader flips to an applicable chapter and reads just that part of the book, I found it to be an interesting read from start to finish. The author's writing style is engaging and light, and he gives plenty of details, but doesn't overwhelm the reader with them. One thing I would note is that a good portion of the book was written from the perspective of an existing business owner looking to make an acquisition or sell his/her business. These parts are not necessarily targeted at the individual or family looking to buy a small business (e.g.Read more ›
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